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IDEALS    OF    LIFE                         97

man swerves, he is carried away by his logic and becomes a
tool of his own knowledge. Only by a sharp and steadfast
holding to the true end of human life as one sees it can human-
ism maintain itself. Humanism occupies, for instance, a mean
position between the other-worldliness of religion and the
materialism of the modern world. Buddhism may have
captured popular fancy in China, but against its influence
the true Confucianist was always inwardly resentful, for it
was, in the eyes of humanism, only an escape from life, or a
negation of the truly human life.

On the other hand, the modern world, with its over-develop-
ment of machinery, has not taken time to ensure that man
enjoys what he makes. The glorification of the plumber in
America has made the man forget that one can live a very
happy life without hot and cold running water, and that in
France and Germany many men have lived to comfortable
old age and made important scientific discoveries and written
masterpieces with their water jug and old-fashioned basin.
There needs to be a religion which will transcribe Jesus*
famous dictum about the Sabbath and constantly preach that
the machine is made for man and not man made for the machine.
For after all, the sum of all human wisdom and the problem
of all human knowledge is how man shall remain a man and
how he shall best enjoy his life.


Nothing is more striking than the Chinese humanist devotion
to the true end of life as they conceive it, and the complete
ignoring of all theological or metaphysical phantasies
extraneous to it. When our great humanist Confucius was
asked about the important question of death, his famous reply
was, "Don't know life—how know death?"1 An American
Presbyterian minister once tried to drive home to me the
importance of the question of immortality by referring to the
alleged astronomical theory that the sun is gradually losing

11 am using pidgin English here in order to retain the terseness and force
of the original.